On occasion, weird things happen in my dreams. (Der. They are dreams, right?)
The weirdest dreams of all happen when I dream I am back in high school. Like, I’m a student again, and I’m me, but not me. I’m a 29 year old version of me trapped in the body and social interactions of an 18 year old. Like Never Been Kissed. Only by 18, for however awkward and unlikeable I may have been, I’d at least been kissed.
(Perhaps I just overshared here. But it’s Spring break and I was up at 5:30 this morning, so oversharing is caused by lack of functioning braincells. Mmkay? Moving on.)
I blame the fact that I sometimes dream I’m back in high school again on the fact that, well, I TEACH high school. So technically, I’m still IN high school. And sometimes it’s hard not to worry about image when you’re in an environment where the majority of breathing beings are concerned with image.
Last night I dreamed I was a cheerleader. I was not a cheerleader in high school. So I blame this on the fact that I’ve recently taken up the role of basketball cheer coach at the school and the football cheer coach and I are knee-deep in choosing vendors and accessories and warm-ups, oh my! (Why are there no less than 400 different pairs of CHEER SHOES to choose from? Why? WHY?)
Gah. Rambling. Lack of braincells. Sorry.
In my dream, I donned my cheer uniform and headed to the stadium. I thought I was looking great! Little to no cellulite on my thighs! My arms weren’t too jiggly! I was all pumped and happy and excited to be there.
In the time I was sitting in the bleachers, ZOMG THE CUTEST GUY IN SCHOOL SAT BY ME! SWOON!! (<–That was me being a teenager. I’m already married to the hottest guy in school, thankyouverymuch.)
But he sat by me and remarked to another player “Hey! Look! There’s a not skinny cheerleader on the squad!”
Now, I don’t know how to take that. And please remember this is my dream. So the fact that I’m taking it in ANY way at all is bizarre. I know.
The rational 29 year old in my dreams wanted to high-five the guy for recognizing that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that we can all be cool and look great no matter how much we weigh or how not-skinny we are.
The irrational 29 in my dreams wanted to cry at being called “not skinny” by a teenager. And the 18 year old in me was crestfallen at his completely ambiguous remark that offered no indication as to whether he meant that statement in a positive or negative way, but which was most certainly taken in a negative way because that’s what 18 year olds (and apparently irrational 29 year olds) do.
And then I woke up and felt all weird.
Because, again, I do not think I look as fat and out of shape and unhealthy as I actually look. And then I see pictures and I’m all “OMG! Even my HEAD looks fat!”
(Truth. I saw pictures from a birthday party yesterday. The small, less-than-a-serving-size piece of cake went straight to my double chin.)
I know that I am not as out of shape as other people my height and weight. Actually, aside from my weight, I’m in great health. My cholesterol is normal, my blood pressure is actually low (and always has been). While I’m not running a marathon any time soon (and have no desire to do so) I’ve seen a definite increase in my endurance levels while doing cardio. (I’m working on the weights, Adrienne. Promise!)
For the record, I was 197 on the scale as of this morning, with 3 days of going to the gym behind me last week and 6 days of recording nearly every bite of food that hit my lips. So, WINNING, but only half way because of this whole body-image thing.
What gives? How does someone who has suffered from low self-esteem her whole life suddenly stop caring? How do I learn to love my body for what it IS and what it can do? (Hello, I grew a human. That’s pretty farking awesome.)
How do I learn to not care what other people think (when other people are likely not even looking at me with any sort of thoughts whatsoever) and retrain myself to think more positively about my body?
Y’all, don’t forget that April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month. I’m Blogging for Children and hope you’ll join me. Get your post up and then on Friday, there’ll be a link up and a new challenge!